What’s happening to infection rates?
India’s surge in infections of Covid-19 began around mid-March and increased rapidly, reaching a peak of quite 400,000 recorded daily cases on Friday, 30 April.
Over subsequent days the numbers fell, with slightly below 360,000 on Monday, 3 May – resulting in speculation that a peak had been reached.
But within the past few days, they need began to rise again, in line with a weekly pattern of fluctuations that shows the numbers usually dipping on a Monday.
And on Wednesday, 5 May, Covid-19 the amount of latest recorded daily infections reached a replacement high of quite 412,000.
The seven-day moving average (smoothing out daily fluctuations) is additionally still trending upwards.
Are testing levels being maintained?
Accurate assessments of the extent of the virus are only possible with widespread testing.
India has been conducting nearly two million tests each day .
This dipped at the beginning of this month to 1.5 million.
But by Wednesday, 5 May, daily testing was back at almost two million again.
This temporary fall in testing may go how to explaining the extent of the dip in recorded daily infections within the first few days of May.
Testing has also been highly variable across the country, with some regions showing significant declines.
“This happened during the previous peak, in September, too,” World Health Organization (WHO) consultant and economist Dr Rijo John says.
“When India was close to touch 100,000 cases per day, the testing rates fell.”
When the authorities say case levels have fallen in some states – Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Telangana and therefore the capital, Delhi – these same states have also seen a fall in testing.
In mid-April, when Delhi was conducting around 100,000 tests each day , reported daily case numbers was around 16,000.
But by the top of April, when the case numbers had risen by quite 55%, testing had fallen by 20%, suggesting a way higher underlying level of infections.
Similar trends were observed in Gujarat and Telangana.
Dr. John says the test ability is clearly subject to a lot of stress, the inability to reach people as the because facility is overburdened.
And across the country, the speed of testing, about 1.3 per 1,000 people, compares with three within the US and 15 within the UK.
What proportion of tests are positive?
A high percentage of positive tests suggests the likelihood of the many more people within the community with undetected coronavirus, consistent with Johns Hopkins University.
And last year, the WHO recommended countries waited until their positive test rate was below 5% for a minimum of fortnight before considering easing restrictions.
Gautam Menon, a modular and professor of physics and biology, at Ashoka University, near Delhi, says: “Test positivity rates is still quite high, in the country at over 20%.
What quite tests are being used?
India mainly uses two types.
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are considered the gold standard, although there are reports of latest variants going undetected even in symptomatic patients.
But some state health officials are moving fast antigen tests, which are short but quick and easy to administer but less reliable.
“So I can definitely think that there is no reason to consider India beyond other waves.”
In Delhi, approximately 35% of tests in April were rapid antigen.
The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) has now recommended that rapid antigen tests be used more widely to deal given the present surge in cases.
It has also relaxed rules regarding getting mandatory PCR tests for travellers to “reduce the burden on laboratories”.